Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Apple Pie Cookie Bars

Oh, dear reader, this is quite possibly my new favorite dessert.  I know, I have a lot of 'favorite' foods, but honestly.  I know I could eat the entire pan of these bars and be quite content with life.  I know this because I, in fact, just about did that.  When I made them for the first time I texted my neighbor to tell her I had a tasty treat to bring her and then never ended up taking her any.  They all found their way into my happy stomach (over the period of a few days, not all in one sitting).  I normally am a very generous person with my treats, but this one is special.  Short bread is amazing.  Very slightly salty short bread with a caramel apple pie filling and a cinnamony crumble topping? MAGICAL!  Go ahead - share the pan - I dare you.  Or not, just eat it.  I'm not here to tell you how to live your life. 
By the way: your house will smell incredible while this is baking. 

3/4 c. butter at room temperature
1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 c. flour
1/4 tsp. salt

3 1/2 Tbsp. butter
3 granny smith apples - peeled, cored, and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces, tossed in a squeeze of lemon juice to coat
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
dash salt

1/2 c. reserved short bread dough
1/4 c. + 1 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt

1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Line a 9X9" baking pan with parchment (I have skipped this and just sprayed the pan with cooking spray, worked just as well).
2.  Cream together the 3/4 c. butter and 1/2 c. sugar until smooth.  Add vanilla and egg yolk.  Mix well.  Add the 1 1/2 c. flour and 1/4 tsp. salt just until combined, do not overmix.  Reserve 1/2 c. of the dough for the crumble topping.  Press remaining dough into the prepared pan, press as flat as possible.  Bake 16-22 minutes until the edges are just starting to brown.  Remove pan from oven and set aside.
3.  Over low heat, melt butter in a medium saucepan.  In a medium bowl combine the brown sugar, 1 1/2 tsp. flour, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon 1/8 tsp. nutmeg and dash of salt.  Toss the apples in this mixture to coat.  Add all to melted butter in the pan.  Increase the heat to medium; stir 3 minutes until this mixture simmers.  Continue simmering an additional 4 minutes, until the sauce thickens.
4.  Add reserved dough back to the mixing bowl.  Add 1/4 c. + 1 Tbsp. flour, 1 Tbsp. brown sugar, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, and 1/4 tsp. salt.  Mix until crumbs formed.
5.  Pour apples over the base crust, spread to the edges of the pan.  Sprinkle with the crumb topping.  Bake 32-27 minutes until the topping is a light-medium brown.  Cool completely before serving (if you can wait that long).

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